Glasgow Rangers showed they are early favourites to win the Scottish Premiership title as Steven Gerrard’s side beat Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday.
Celtic were comprehensively outplayed from start to finish as the Light Blues cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory over their arch-rivals on their home turf which sent them four points clear at the top of the table, having played a game more than Neil Lennon’s men.
A brace from Connor Goldson helped his side claim the spoils in the first Old Firm derby of the season but the Rangers boss will be well aware that there is still a long way to go between now and the end of the season.
The Gers won at Celtic Park last December but their title challenge crumbled before their very eyes after the winter break. Gerrard’s side dropped eight points in five games which left the Bhoys with a ten-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership last season.
History has a habit of repeating itself and as Celtic still have a game in hand and were without first-team regular starters Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie at the weekend, the Light Blues must already start to think about the next three points that are on offer.
Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack admitted his side received a reality check last term and vowed that they will not allow such an opportunity slip through their grasp once again. He said: “It’s always a great feeling to win a derby match, the boys are delighted.
“I thought we did very well, but it’s just another three points, a step to where we want to get to.
“The challenge is to put demands on ourselves to keep improving. It’s a big win but it doesn’t stop here. If we want to get to where we want to be then this is only the start.”
TGers registered another clean sheet when Celtic didn’t even manage a single shot on target throughout the entire game. Gerrard’s side have now only conceded three goals in eleven league games, four less than their arch-rivals who have a game in-hand.
Former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan believes the Light Blues “look a lot more defensively sound.” He told Football Insider: “Steven Gerrard has changed that mental strength in that group of defensive players now, that’s what he’s been looking for.
“We’ve seen it from the start of the season, we’ve seen defensively they work hard, they look assured, they’re a lot more gritty at the back, they look a lot more defensively sound.
“That is where they were looking to strengthen and get better and they definitely have with their record this season in Europe and in the league.”
However, Rangers really cannot afford to slip up again and stutter for the second year running after beating their biggest rivals in their own backyard. To lose such a lead once may be regarded as misfortune; to lose both would be carelessness.
Let’s face it, Gers fans shouldn’t get too carried away. If there’s one thing for sure, the title race is far from over just yet.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers’ Glen Kamara dominates midfield battle in Old Firm derby…